by Aqeela Naqvi

“it’s not my responsibility to be beautiful. i’m not alive for that purpose. my existence is not about how desirable you find me.”

—warsan shire

things to remember: you are beautiful because you were made beautiful. not because another person says, ‘you are beautiful.’ you have the universe inside you. a) do not wait for another to look into your eyes and tell you they see cosmos dancing there for you to believe it, or b) allow another to say that they see nothing there so much that you stop believing as well.

do not insult your existence by seeking its validation from others. your worth is not scribbled in pencil, a second-hand appraisal of an outer form. it is written in gold by the first-hand who sang the love song of your inner existence. your life is one—count it: one. do not allow another to live two lives by means of subjugating yours.

your mind is your homeland. do not allow it to be colonized into thinking that beautiful is ‘everyone else’s beautiful’ and not your own beautiful. you—your journey—has never been about them: what they think of how you dresstalksitstandwalklaugh. your journey has always been, and will forever be, only about you.

you are a bird that was created to sing in the freedom of the skies; not to trill in the cage of the opinions of others. the majority of birds sit with wings clipped—and, missing the taste of flight, would do anything to keep you, too, on the ground.

but you have wings, my friend.

you have wings… fly.

“they can have the earth, the pile of dirt; but the sky is mine.”